Rakitic in contract extension talks

Zidane defends Real’s performance following 3-1 defeat to Bayern

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has confirmed that he is currently in talks with the club about extending his stay at Camp Nou.

Rakitic’s current contract expires in 2019, but the 27-year-old, who joined Barcelona from Sevilla in June 2014, is already in talks regarding an extended deal.

“I have a contract until 2019, but we already started negotiating about renewal,” he told 24 sata. “I know it will be very hard to equal 2015, but I will try to make 2016 at least as good. No one ever defended the Champions League title, there is our motivation.

“My favourite moment of 2015 was scoring a goal in the Champions League final. Last year was great both in my professional and private life. My wife is pregnant, we will have second daughter in four months.”

Barcelona have not been at their best of late, drawing three of their last five La Liga matches, but Rakitic sees no cause for concern as the Catalans currently sit second in the league standings, just two points behind Atletico Madrid whom they have a game in hand over.

“There is no reason to be afraid for Barcelona, yes we had three draws but we were better than opponent in all those matches,” he said. “We did not have luck and we missed too any chances, but there is no panic.”

Rakitic added that he does not feel threatened by the increased competition in the midfield area after Arda Turan became eligible to play for Barcelona in January after the club’s transfer ban coming to an end. Turan joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid for €34 million  in July last year.

“I am not worried about Turan’s arrival,” Rakitic said. “During this year and half I have proven what I am capable of and how important I am for Barcelona team, so I am not worried for my place in starting line-up.”

Rakitic has scored three goals and recorded three assists in the 29 games in all competitions this season.